Blogger Mike Molton ponders on the period between Christmas and the return to the routine where all rules go out of the window and even simple things take much longer.

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The clock eases past 11am and the quiet of the house masks the underlying breakdown of order. One of the kids is still in bed, another is only technically out of bed – sitting in a blanket in front of the TV – and the third has gone back to bed.

The holiday season brings a reminder that, without a solid routine, the tendency is to become like listless apes in a zoo exhibit, briefly rising to wander around seeing what there is to eat before collapsing back into a pile of straw. And like a zoo, as long as we stick to regular feeding and mucking out times, we’re basically OK, but we’re not really getting much done. The time, containing fewer events than usual, seems to have both slowed yet passes at an alarming rate as minor tasks are drawn out to fill all the time available. 

There has been an attempt to name this listless drift between Christmas and New Year as ‘Twixtmas’, a word reminiscent of a chocolate bar which reflects the abnormal amount of chocolate available at this time of year, but otherwise doesn’t seem to capture the essence of the time. It seems that the word should describe the release from the usual routine, and subsequent failure to build a replacement, resulting in a sort of loss of momentum. ‘Chrimbo’ (‘Christmas’ combined with ‘limbo’) is already in the dictionary. Maybe ‘Festnertia’.

The vast majority of human history and many lives around the world, could be analogous to this period – a life not dominated by clocks, school, work patterns, timetables, appointments and calendar alerts. People still fall into a groove and get stuff done without a society regimenting their lives to the digitally-calculated minute, yet it seems little of our past cultures are devoted to concepts like ‘20 proven productivity hacks used by high priests’ or ‘5 time management strategies of top chieftains’. 

So, what would your day look like without any external regimentation of your routine? Would you impose your own systematic routine, ticking through tasks in an orderly fashion? Or would you be like one of the apes in the zoo, ambling between metaphorical straw piles, vaguely gibbering at those around you? 

There needs to be some sort of test administered by career advisors.

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